Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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18 months later

Hi iv wrote on this post before I had pp in March after the birth of my beautiful son I was in a psychratic ward for about a week mine started quite quick after birth but I got a lot of home treatment I had such great support from family and the professionals that were involved I did however suffer depression after words my son is now 18 months and only now I'm feeling a lot better I'm back at work part time I actually stared a new job and it's going great how ever due to the medication I was on risperidome and venafaxine I had gained a lot of weight and my confidence is knocked I don't have a strong bond with my son as my husband had to do everything he always cries after daddy never me and this is very hard to deal with I'm wondering will I ever get that ! Things aren't great at home at the minute it has deffiently took its toll on my husband and I feel as if we are drifting apart I want to get that spark back I felt numb towards him threw out my illness and often blamed him for me going into the psychratic ward I couldn't look at him but now I'm back to myself I just want family life to be normal I want to know what it feels like to be mummy and do everything for my son and husband as I never got to due to being ill I just want to know how was family life for you all after pp?

6 Replies

Hello Fiona24

Thanks for coming back to the forum to let us know how you are. You have done so well to recover and return to work in such a short space of time. With my first PP I was under general psychiatric care for six months, mostly without my son.

I think some medications do have side effects of weight gain although I'm not really qualified to comment as my PP experiences were so long ago and treatments are so much better now. PP is so traumatic to overcome and you are bound to feel rocked by what you and your husband have been through. In my experience I wasn't as self aware as you so I did feel guilty about my illness and what I had put my husband and family through. However as time went on and my confidence slowly returned I was able to enjoy family life again.

Is it possible for you and your husband to have a night out, just the two of you? I think this would be a good idea ..... not that you have to talk about your illness .... but just spending time together might be such a comfort for both of you.

Try not to worry too much about bonding with your son ..... he knows you're his mummy. Your husband has been a really great dad so your son has two great parents. Perhaps after you give your son a bath you could wrap him up warmly and rock him gently just to feel close. You might also like to sing him a lullaby?

Just to add ..... if you type 'bonding' into search on this page there are a few posts with some good replies and ideas. There will be other mums here to give you very helpful advice. Don't be too hard on yourself ....... we can't help ourselves when PP takes over..... give yourself time to heal and take very good care.

We are all here to lean on.


Hi Fiona

Thanks for your post. I just wanted to say it rang so many bells for me, my own journey of PP was very similar to yours as in I had depression afterwards and I would say it was 18 months to 2 years before I felt myself again. It's a long journey.

First of all sounds like you've recovered amazingly, returning to a new part time job that you are enjoying is such a huge step and a huge achievement.

What you say about the difficulties with your family - your son and the relationship with your partner - is so similar to how I felt at 18 months.

I guess the message I would want to tell you is just hang on - it will slowly get better. For me, it was just a slow process. Slowly I gained confidence in myself again. Slowly me and my partner's relationship improved. But it really was so difficult for quite a while. I was despairing at times, we just didn't communicate well at all, and I felt so far away from him. My partner in the end had some counselling sessions too and the counsellor said he was suffering with post traumatic stress after everything that happened - and that was 3 years after the illness. So it takes a long time for you, and your husband, to psychologically recover.

It's now 4 years since I had PP and me and my partners relationship is so much better, much more normal to what it was, and seems to be improving all the time.

You may want to consider couples counselling? You could look into the charity Relate who offer it? I didn't have it, but perhaps it would have really helped.

I also felt my son preferred my partner. But that will get better too. I guess my advice there is just try and be as present as you can be with him, play with him, do things he enjoys, and the bond will get stronger and stronger. Children are really adaptable I think, and live in the present moment. He won't remember at all that you were ill and will be unaffected by it.

Anyway I hope some of what I have shared may help. Take care



Your story is similar to mine in many ways. My son was born March 2014, I was admitted to general psych ward but for three weeks.

My son doesn't seem to favour my hubby over me, however I was admitted when he was 13days old and hubby went to work again on day 15 so my Mum became his main carer pretty much all day and at night. When my Mum is here, my son ignores me completely and I hate it! I always think he has some bond with her because of that time without me.

Regarding your hubby, I think the illness puts a huge toll on them. Mine was diagnosed with depression, I think it's from that time.

I have also gained weight and cannot lose it, even though been med free for six months.

I agree with above, start a date night or weekend away if you can. Come and stay with us (live in the Lakes) and we'll sit while you go out!

Maybe go out and buy some new clothes to make yourself feel attractive to try and get that spark back.

I think the depression part is the hardest as it lasts the longest.

I think time is a healer and it's still early days xx


Thank you all so much for your replies my husband has seen his doctor and she has said that he has mild depression and it's caused from all the stress holding down a home and a job looking after his son and his wife she gave him a self help book he's not on any medication I think I'm just really finding this hard to accept because he has been so strong for so long we did have a date night on Tuesday we went to see Kevin bridges live it was an amazing night just what we needed and it's my birthday next week so we're planning on getting a night away ! I'm glad I'm not the only one that has felt like this and this is all part of the process it's very tough even my parents has said that this has been the toughest 18 months of there lives and all they want is to see me my husband and son happy again I really don't know what I would of done without them they have done so much for us I guess I'm just taking each day as it comes and I'm sure that bond will come with my son did any of use go on to have more children? Thank you all again


Hello Fiona

It must be hard for you to see your husband unwell at the moment but with good support from his G.P and your TLC he will feel better. I'm really pleased you have had 'time out' together .... it just gives you a lift to carry on doesn't it?

PP is an awful experience for everyone involved but you mustn't feel guilty as you have fought so hard to be well for your family and are amazing to have recovered so quickly. Your sheer determination and the support of your family has carried you this far with so many happy memories waiting for you. .....

I did have a second precious son ... now both grown men .... whose hugs are priceless. So just take things a day at a time ......celebrate your birthday and how far you have come.

We are here if you need us anytime at all. Take good care.


Hi Fiona,

I just wanted to add to others and say you are far from alone in feeling like this and I too can completely relate to all you are saying. It's good to hear you have recovered and started a new job and are doing well 18 months on. I had PP 6 years ago now with my 1st child and I would say that the lack of confidence was huge for me. It impacted on absolutely everything and it was really hard with my husband too. I know I was pretty useless with anything, not just when very ill, but in the 1-2 years after whilst still recovering. And if I'm completely honest, probably til I stopped taking meds as I felt it was something hanging over me.

So I was probably quite hard to live with, especially in the early months at home and I think it's only natural that our husbands suffer too. It's good to hear that your husband has got some support from his GP though. Mine threw himself into other things as well as a way of coping. One of them is exercise and it's quite hard really as I struggled with my weight, due to anti-psychotics (I was on Olanzapine) and also the massive exhaustion and lack of impetus to do much when recovering. I found that trying to do what I could for my baby and working meant that time for me was best spent relaxing in front of the TV. Everyone is different and I guess for me, losing weight became something that got further down the list of priorities. It's something I will work on as time goes on but for now, I'm happy enough and have also started doing a fun Boxercise class with a friend in the last few months which is good for me and also hopefully helping with my fitness and weight levels.

I agree with others about trying to find time for yourselves and it's good to hear you've had a night out and have more stuff planned. I also found that just watching a film at home was a nice way of spending time together. And I definitely like the idea of doing a bit of shopping for something nice to wear and help your confidence.

My eldest also asks for his daddy constantly and sometimes this can make me feel sad, but the other way I try to look at it is that they have an amazing bond because of my PP and if there's anything positive to be taken from the hardest time of our lives, that is it. I did go on to have another child who is nearly 2 and I'm happy to say that I kept well and didn't get PP again. But guess what? He seems to just want daddy too!! I think it is also a boy thing, and I know that really they both love me as well. I think it's also a really big plus of PP (and we take them where we can, as everything else is awful!) that my son doesn't remember when I was ill because he was just a baby.

I hope some of this helps and keep on with planning special things for you and your husband to do, as well as perhaps some family days out. You are doing so well and it will only get easier as time goes on. Take care, xx


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